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 Albert Lake  (1903 - 1990)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Texas      Known for: portrait-dignitaries, landscape

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Albert Lake
An example of work by Albert Lake
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Albert Lockhart Lake, painter and sculptor, was born in Hanson, Massachusetts in 1903. The youngest of ten children, he moved to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada in 1910 with his family. He realized that he was not suited to the farming life, and in 1924 he moved back to Boston. It was there that he pursued his career as an artist and developed his skill at portrait painting under the tutelage of Frank Waldo Murray who was an associate of the noted American portraitist, John Singer Sargent. Although Lake did not have any academic art training, he became respected for his outstanding portraits.

He was proficient in painting in many mediums including oils, watercolors and charcoals. Lake also studied sculpture with John Wilson who taught modeling at the Harvard School of Architecture. Lake became skilled in sculpting clay and wax models that were later cast in bronze.

In the 1930's, Lake became a member of the Boston Art Club and joined the Boston Copley Society where he showed his oil portraits in 1939. Two portrait commissions gave him the opportunity for his first visit to Europe. While in London studying
and working, he was offered membership into the prestigious Chelsea Art Club.
After the outbreak of World War II, Lake enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after initial training he was assigned to the U.S.O. and worked in the Camp Show Artist program. His first special assignment took him to China, Burma, and India. He was later assigned to Europe. While in the service of the Army, he sketched many wounded servicemen in the hospitals. Lake was recognized by the U.S.O. for his outstanding work. He also painted portraits of many military officers and dignitaries.

While in China, he made a portrait drawing of Chang Chun, governor of Szechuan province, who later became the Premier of China, and presented it as a gift from appreciative Americans.

In 1946, following the war, Lake traveled to Germany and Austria and captured the devastation with his artwork. While in Vienna, he met his future wife, Friedl, with whom he spent the remainder of his life. After returning to the United States, his skill and recognition as a portraitist grew and led to a successful career that brought him many commissions.

In 1956, Lake moved to Dallas, Texas and established permanent residence with his wife, Freidl. He built a studio behind his University Park home at 4012 McFarlin. From there he continued his portrait work along with regional landscapes and other imaginative subjects. His cultured life and world travels added dimension to his artistic work. He was sought-after and commissioned to create many portraits of dignitaries and prominent people. After completing a portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson's mother, Lake executed an eight-foot sculpture of Lyndon B. Johnson that is mounted at Texas Central College in
Killeen, TX.

Albert Lake's oeuvre contains a long list of important portraits that he was commissioned to paint. The list includes Judge Sarah T. Hughs, John Stemmons, General Philip Bethune, Mrs. Nelson Bunker Hunt, and the famous ballerina Alexandra Danilova.

In April 1990 at the age of 86, Albert Lake died at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Prepared by:
David D. Dempsey
Dallas, TX

Submitted May 2004, his information is extracted from a biography sheet that he obtained from a dealer, William Johnson Fine Art, Dallas, Texas. Dempsey also met Lake's wife and one of his daughters when his estate was being liquidated in Dallas, in 1997.

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